Skoda has launched its first full-size SUV, the Kodiaq, in the Indian market at Rs 34.49 lakh (ex-showroom, pan India). With its introduction, the competition in the premium SUV space has intensified for sure. Given its sheer size and seven-seat capabilities, it rivals the seasoned off-roaders like the Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner, though its steep pricing lands it in the premium space where the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the BMW X1 lock horns. Let’s see where the Czech automaker stands against its German rivals on paper.
Appearing to be bigger, the Skoda Kodiaq is in fact the longest, tallest and the widest vehicle over here, and that too by a good margin. With respect to wheelbase, the Skoda SUV pummels the other two at 2791mm, while the X1 and the GLA stand neck and neck with each other. With all rows up, the BMW X1 boasts the largest boot space of 505 litres whereas the GLA comes second. However folding all the seats of the Skoda SUV can liberate a cavernous 2005 litres. To ensure it tackles Indian roads smoothly, it gets the highest ground clearance of 188mm. Clearly, the Skoda Kodiaq has an upper hand in the dimension category.
While the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the X1 are available in both petrol and diesel engine options, the Kodiaq is offered only with a single diesel engine.
The Kodiaq and the X1 are powered by 2.0-litre diesel motors while the Merc is powered by a slightly larger 2.1-litre engine. The X1’s mill develops the highest power and torque here (192.7PS/400Nm) followed by the Skoda and the Merc. Despite boasting the most potent motor under its hood, the BMW X1 excels in the fuel efficiency department as well, with excellent figures of 20.68kmpl. The GLA comes second with 17.9kmpl whereas the Kodiaq delivers 16.25kmpl. The Kodiaq can only be had in an all-wheel-drive type while the other two offer two-wheel and four-wheel drive options.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA and the BMW X1 are equipped with 2.0-litre petrol motors. The BMW yet again emerges as a winner in pumping out the maximum power (194PS) while the Merc nips it in generating peak torque (300Nm). Just like its diesel engine, the BMW X1 is fuel efficient here as well and returns a figure of 16.3kmpl, beating the GLA. While the Beemer is front-wheel-drive, the GLA comes in an all-wheel-drive setup.
This segment demands luxury, and each of the three cars come packed with it. The Kodiaq gets 3-zone climate control while the BMW X1 comes with 2-zone automatic climate control. All three cars get panoramic sunroofs. While the Kodiaq gets segment-first nine airbags, the GLA and X1 are bestowed with six airbags. The Kodiaq gets the interesting multi-collision brake system, which automatically applies brake to the car if any other vehicle hits it from behind.
To sum it up, if you are looking for a premium SUV which is powerful, good looking, fuel efficient and packs in decent features, the X1 is the ideal choice. The Merc also does the same with a relatively less powerful motor but gets more features onboard. With these two, there’s a limitation – the seats. If you want to accommodate those ‘last minute attendees’, the Kodiaq fits the bill with its seven-seat configuration. Every vehicle here has its own advantages, so you won’t regret whichever you choose.